Portisham, a village and a parish in Dorsetshire, under Black Down, 2 miles NE of Abbotsbury, with a station on the G.W.R., 144 miles from London. There is a post and money order office under Dorchester; telegraph office, Abbotsbury. The parish contains also the hamlets of Coryatts, Shilvington, and Waddon. Acreage, 4511; population, 634. There is a parish council consisting of seven members and a chairman. The manor belongs to Earl Fitzhardinge. A cromlech, called Hell Stone, is on Ridge Hill; comprises nine upright stones about 3 feet broad and 6 high, and an oval horizontal one 10¼ feet long and about 2 thick; stands on a tumulus, with connecting terrace 60 feet long; and has been restored. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Salisbury; gross value, £300 with residence. The church is ancient but good, and has a pinnacled tower. There is a Methodist chapel, and a temperance hall was erected in 1882. Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, who served with Nelson, was a native.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Diocese||Bristol||1542 - 1836|
|Ecclesiastical parish||Portisham St. Peter|
|Poor Law union||Weymouth||1836 -|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1507. The original register books are now deposited with the Dorset Archives Service, but have been digitised by Ancestry.co.uk and made available on their site (subscription required).
Church of England
St. Peter (parish church)
The church of St. Peter is an ancient building of stone in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing a clock and 3 bells: the church was restored in 1874, and affords 430 sittings.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Portisham was in Weymouth Registration District from 1837 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Portisham from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Portisham (St. Peter))
- Hunt & Co.'s Directory of Dorsetshire, Hampshire, & Wiltshire 1851
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Dorset is available to browse.
Online maps of Portisham are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the Dorset County Chronicle and the Sherborne Mercury online.
Villages, Hamlets, &cCorfe Gate or Coryatts
The Visitation of Dorset, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.